10 years on we look at what it was that made TV series 'Friends' so special.
We’re feeling pretty nostalgic (and old) because it’s been ten years since the final episode of Friends aired. We’d sort of been getting by on the hope that a reunion episode would take place, but mean Matt LeBlanc ruined that dream. The actor, who played Joey, recently said: “That show was about a finite period of time in life, after college and before your relationship and family starts and where your friends are your support system. That’s what the magic of the show was - everyone goes through that and can relate to that.”
The cast of Friends with Jay Leno [Photo: Getty images]
That wasn’t the only magic that Friends had. The reason that the show was so popular for so long was a combination of a dozen or so factors that just worked. The chemistry between the cast was palpable, you could just tell that Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox were best friends in real life and that translated onto their onscreen friendship.
Each actor couldn’t have been picked more perfectly. No-one could argue that David Schwimmer wasn’t perfect as geeky (but sort of hunky) palaeontologist Ross, or that Matthew Perry didn’t have the dead-on comic timing combined with a hint of vulnerability that made him Chandler. We laughed with them, most of us grew up with them, the Friends gang went through their rites of passage onscreen before lots of us, letting us know what we were in for.
Ross, Chandler and Ross in 'Friends' [Photo: Getty images, credit: Hulton Archive]
It was hard not to become deeply invested in the show, the characters were so well written and maintained over a long period of time. Any Friends fan could say, “That’s so Rachel,” or “Monica would never do that,” and know with a certainty that you knew them as people rather than as characters. Even the sound of the show’s theme tune, The Rembrandts “I’ll Be There For You,” inspires a Pavlovian in anyone who has been a fan of the show.
The final episode of Friends, which saw Monica and Chandler move out of their famous apartment, Ross and Rachel reunited, Phoebe married off and Joey…well, still Joey, raked in $70 million for NBC, at the time a record for an entertainment series. The six friends moved on with their lives and fans were left to imagine where they ended up. Fortunately, fans knew them so well they’ve all got their own pretty good idea about what happened to their long lost friends and maybe that’s for the best.
The Friends gang, together [Photo: Getty images. credit: Hulton Archive]
Fans watch the Friends finale in Times Square [Photo: Getty Images, credit: Getty archive]